January 2017 Issue of the Journal of Democracy

Is liberal democracy in trouble? What are Brexit’s implications for the U.K. and its party system? How did Turkey’s Erdoğan defeat the attempted coup? 

“Democratic Deconsolidation”

The recent electoral successes of populist candidates in Europe and the United States have raised new questions about the durability of liberal democracies. In “The Signs of Deconsolidation,” Roberto Stefan Foa and Yascha Mounk argue that survey evidence of citizen disenchantment with liberal democracy should serve as an “early warning sign” that liberal democracy may be more vulnerable than it looks. Their research, profiled by the New York Times and the subject of widespread media coverage and public debate since its prerelease, deepens our understanding of democracy’s current troubles.

“Britain After Brexit”

The United Kingdom’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union upended opinions about the global strength of populism, the state of the British party system, and the longevity of the EU. In “A Nation Divided,” Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin explain the long-term social and attitudinal shifts in Britain that made “Brexit” possible. Other essays in this cluster explore the implications of Brexit for peace in Northern Ireland; the referendum’s effect on Scotland’s future place within the U.K.; and the deep cleavages Brexit exposed in the British party system.

“Turkey’s Failed Coup”

Since the coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July 2016, a state of emergency has been imposed, tens of thousands have been fired from their jobs or jailed, and democratic safeguards have been rolled back. In “Turkey: How the Coup Failed,” Berk Esen and Sebnem Gumuscu review the events of that night and explain how President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) was able to thwart the putsch. They also consider how the attempted coup and the massive crackdown that ensued will shape Turkey’s future.

The January issue also features:

  • Malte Kaeding on the rise of “localism” in Hong Kong.
  • Mona Lena Krook on violence against women in politics.
  • M. Steven Fish and Michael Seeberg on the key to Mongolia’s surprisingly robust democracy.
  • Srdjan Darmanović on why the Balkans today are more placid, but still not boring.
  • Monica Marks on Tunisia’s Ennahda Party and Turkey’s AKP.
  • Oisín Tansey on the limitations of the “anticoup” norm.
  • Anders Åslund on the three regions of the old Soviet bloc.
  • James H. Nichols, Jr. in review of The Anglo-American Tradition of Liberty: A View From Europe by João Carlos Espada.

For the complete Table of Contents, visit www.journalofdemocracy.org.


The Journal of Democracy is published quarterly in January, April, July, and October. Members of the press who wish to receive electronic access to the current issue should email our managing editor. To subscribe, visit https://www.press.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/order.cgi?oc_id=32. For more information, please visit our website or send us an email.